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It’s not Bond, James Bond! Meet the obscure 007 clones in the 1960s



007 – Sem Tempo para Morrer still plays in Brazilian cinemas and around the world. The twenty-fifth episode of the longest-running franchise in movie history has become a critical and public success, grossing over $ 650 million worldwide in a time of a pandemic. As the film is still in theaters, we expect it to surpass that mark a bit further. Much of the success is that the feature marks Daniel Craig’s farewell, after five films in the role. Craig was the sixth performer of The Queen’s Spy James Bond, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, and many consider him the best 007 in cinema. In any case, he will undoubtedly be missed.

While producer EON Pictures, responsible for secret agent James Bond’s films in theaters, can’t find a substitute for the next adventure, we’ll take a nostalgic journey through time to delve into a curious fact about the franchise’s past. .

When 007’s early spy adventures, based on the books by author Ian Fleming, began to be adapted for the big screen (with Sean Connery’s forms, of course) every year in the early 1960s, a phenomenon began to develop. . By the time 007 Contra Goldfinger made its debut in 1964, a veritable “Bondmania” was taking over the world. It was a fever comparable to the Beatles. The following year, 1965, Bond reached the pinnacle of financial success with The Atomic Blackmail – it was then that producers and studios realized that they could no longer waste time and stay away from it. wave of espionage that attracted crowds to cinemas. With the two-year hiatus between 007 movies – the interval given after The Atomic Blackmail to With 007 You Only Live Twice (1967) – this was the perfect opportunity for other superspys to try their luck.

It is precisely in this gap of the year 1966, where we received the innumerable films which one can qualify as “clones of 007” that we will approach in this file. Check out the most famous below.

One of the most famous 007 clones to debut in the 1960s was Matt Helm – including inspirational director Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) with one of his films. With the explosion of James Bond in its first four films, Columbia Pictures (also responsible for launching the first version of Casino Royale as a comedy on the big screen) bought in 1965 the rights to adapt the books created. by author Donald Hamilton. on the character. Matt Helm is an intelligence officer for the US government. Singer and actor Dean Martin, a member of Frank Sinatra’s “clan” called Rat Pack, was hired for the films. Indeed, the character and features of James Bond had everything to do with the character of Martin: drunk, womanizer and playboy. Martin even risks a few musical notes and singing on the character’s skin.

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A total of 28 books have been published on Matt Helm. At the cinema, only four films have been produced. The first to debut was Secret Agent Matt Helm (The Silencers, 1966). The plot is almost a parody of the 007 films, with the protagonist already starting his first adventure in retirement, having to be called back to the countryside by a partner to stop a criminal organization (in the mold of SPECTER) called Big O from blowing up a atomic bomb on American territory from World War III. Interestingly, in the same year 1966, the Agent’s second adventure was launched – titled Matt Helm Against the World of Crime (The Murderers’ Row). While the first film was released in February, the second opened in December 1966. In this second adventure, Matt Helm fakes his own death to go on a mission. This time, he must save an inventor named Dr. Solaris, who has created a laser weapon powerful enough to destroy an entire continent.

In 1967, it was the turn of Ambush by Matt Helm (The Ambushers). In this third adventure, the agent must find a traitor within his own organization, who sabotages the North American project of the first flying saucer created in the country. And finally, Secret Weapon Counts Matt Helm (The Wrecking Crew), who debuted in 1969. In this “knockoff” of Goldfinger, the agent must stop an evil earl who has stolen a large amount of gold. To help the protagonist, the agency sends a partner – played by Sharon Tate. This is the film screened in Tarantino’s feature film, in the scene where Tate, played by Margot Robbie, goes to the cinema to see his own performance.

In the 1970s, Matt Helm migrated to the small screen and became a private investigator rather than a secret agent. Now personified by Anthony Franciosa in a series of the same name, the series only lasted a 14-episode season in 1975. Currently, a project to bring the character to the big screen in a modern adaptation has changed hands. from Dreamworks to Primordial. The project has Steven Spielberg linked to directing and Bradley Cooper linked to playing – this more serious version, in the mold of Bourne and Daniel Craig 007.

Unlike Matt Helm, who even had the backing of being a film adaptation of a famous and bulky series of books, superspy Derek Flint stepped down from the role and stepped onto the screen in a more cynical effort. Flint is essentially an overt parody of James Bond. The idea was born at 20th Century Fox, who were looking for a version of 007 that would be their own. Thus was born Agent Flint, who took the form of actor James Coburn, a veteran actor of television and film. In his big-screen debut in the movie Flint Against the Evil Genius (Our Man Flint, 1966), the agent confronts eco-terrorists who plan to affect the planet’s climate unless their demands are met.

The following year, 1967, Derek Flint (again played by Coburn) returned to the Flint: Ultimate Danger (In Like Flint) adventure – a film that involved a plot that would not fall off at all in these politically correct times. that we are living. . And maybe it didn’t even go down in the 1960s, that would explain the film’s failure and why the potential franchise ended after just two copies. See this, in the plot of her second adventure, Flint must stop a group of feminists, who want to overthrow patriarchal society and start an era of matriarchy in the world – taking their first step in replacing the American president with an actor. Have you thought? After that, Flint would only return in the comics. Still, there are twists and turns appearing in pop culture, such as the Austin Powers movie tributes.

Created in the 1920s by HC McNeile in a series of books, and later revived by Gerard Fairlie, the character of Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond is a World War I veteran turned adventurer. While his screen adaptations are much older than those of James Bond (the first dating back to 1922), the point is that after 007’s explosion in the 1960s, Bulldog would return to appear in new releases at during this period, whose adventures had a great “what” of the queen’s spy. The character has no less than 22 films shot for the big screen, from 1922 to 1951. But in 1967, he gains a more modern and daring production (for the time), supported by Universal. In this reimagining, the protagonist was played by Richard Johnson. In the 1967 film Deadlier Than the Male, Drummond must stop a criminal mind who uses beautiful women to commit a series of murders.

The direct sequel came two years later in 1969, with the movie Some Girls Do. In this adventure, employees and the company responsible for developing the world’s first supersonic airline find themselves the target of attacks, leaving Agent Drummond to investigate and prevent further deaths. In his new film version, Bulldog Drummond has become a British secret agent. In the past, master Alfred Hitchcock was almost responsible for one of the character’s adaptations on the big screen.

And if you found the shameless productions above, wait until you see this one. Well where to start? An Italian production, the film Operation Youngest Brother (1967) is so shameless that it deserved some sort of award. Go on. The motto here is to have Sean Connery’s younger brother featured. Neil Connery is the “star” of the film and plays a character who bears his name. But don’t stop there. The plot is precisely about the recruitment of the civilian brother of England’s greatest spy – you know who I’m talking about. Neil is a medical plastic surgeon who must use his skills (beyond medicine, lip reading, and hypnosis) to stop a criminal organization from using a magnetic wave generator and taking over the world. You want more? Very well then. As supporting actors, the film uses not one, not two, not three, but five veterans of the official 007 franchise from EON Pictures. They are: Daniela Bianchi (Moscow’s Bondgirl Against 007), Anthony Dawson (Professor of Dr No), Adolfo Celi (the main villain of The Atomic Blackmail), and Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell, boss M and boss respectively Moneypenny secretary of all the early films in the 007 franchise.

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